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The Trump-Kim summit, which will be held at the Capella Hotel on Tuesday morning, will mark the first time a North Korean leader has met with a sitting U.S. president. He implied to White House reporters last month during a background briefing that reinstating the summit after Trump canceled it would have been almost impossible.

Nuclear-tinged threats. Name-calling. Missiles flying over Japan.

Kim was accompanied at the meeting by vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Kim Yong Chol, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the WPK Ri Su Yong, and Colonel General No Kwang Chol - one of the three promoted in a recent North Korean military shakeup.

The city-state of 5.5 million serves as neutral turf for both sides, since it has security partnerships with the USA, a North Korean embassy and strong ties with China. Today, we start with a behind the scenes of the summit.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is also in Singapore, said in a tweet that Washington is "committed to the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula". But even Republican lawmakers say the GOP president must extract some concessions from Kim.

The US president successfully sought to tighten United Nations sanctions on the North, and to get its traditional ally, China, to go along. As the site for their meeting, the two leaders have chosen one of Singapore's most luxurious hotels, the Capella Resort on Sentosa Island, a popular vacation spot off the southern tip of Singapore and home to Universal Studios Singapore.

The White House says Trump will leave Singapore Tuesday, because the talks have "moved more quickly than expected".

Tom Nichols, a Russian Federation scholar with expertise in Soviet Union-era arms control talks at the Naval War College, said Trump's propensity for falsehoods makes getting an accurate rendering of the conversation essentially impossible.

Asked how long it would take for him to work out if Kim was serious about striking some kind of peace deal, Trump replied: "I think within the first minute I'll know".

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"We are hopeful this summit will have set the conditions for future successful talks", Pompeo said, describing a far more modest goal than Trump had outlined days earlier. Pyongyang's weapons program benefits from forced labor.

Trump has expressed some concern about China's influence. He credits his administration's "maximum pressure" campaign with getting Kim to the table.

Pompeo has maintained that complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization is the "only outcome" acceptable to the US and that the Trump administration hopes ultimately to reach an agreement with the North Koreans that it can submit to Congress "so that when administrations do change, as they inevitably do, and this one will ... that Chairman Kim will have comfort that American policy will continue down the same path".

But Pompeo has refused to answer reporters' questions about whether the two governments had reached agreement on how to define denuclearization, and how it might play out.

He said after that, a more "tactical" result could come in regards to North Korea's potential denuclearization.

"Who knew this would have happened five to six years ago..." But lawmakers are anxious Trump might not get enough in return during his initial talks with Kim.

The president has said that he would be willing to guarantee the safety of Kim's regime - though it's not clear how he would back that up. A cameraman was also heard yelling profanities in Korean.

Tensions between the two countries escalated in 2017 after Pyongyang stepped up efforts to boost its nuclear weapons programme.


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